Η Ford ανακοίνωσε σήμερα ότι έως το 2013 σκοπεύει το 90% των αυτοκινήτων της που θα πουλά στην Αμερική να φοράνε turbo κινητήρες, καθώς επίσης και την δημιουργία ενός νέου τρικύλινδρου EcoBoost 1.0-λίτρου.
Ο 1000αρης κινητήρας, θα είναι ο μικρότερος κινητήρας της Ford και θα τοποθετηθεί σε πολλά αυτοκίνητα της σε όλη την υφήλιο. Το πόσα άλογα θα αποδίδει και πόσο καύσιμο θα καταναλώνει δεν ανακοινώθηκε ακόμη (επίσημο ντεμπούτο θα κάνει στην έκθεση της Φρανκφούρτης τον Σεπτέμβριο), αλλά ο Joe Bakaj, αντιπρόεδρος της Ford Global Powertrain Engineering, δήλωσε ότι ο νέος κινητήρας θα αποδίδει περίπου όσο ο ατμοσφαιρικός 1600αρης αλλά θα έχει σαφώς μικρότερη κατανάλωση.
Η Ford επίσης επιβεβαίωσε ότι δουλεύει πάνω σε ένα νέο 8-τάχυτο αυτόματο κιβώτιο το οποίο έχει κατασκευαστεί από την αρχή, αποκλειστικά από την Ford.
Τέλος η Ford ανακοίνωσε ότι θα επενδύσει συνολικά 70 εκατ. ευρώ στα εργοστάσια της σε Σικάγο, Michigan και στο Saarlouis της Γερμανίας στον τομέα της τεχνολογίας. Τα πρώτα μοντέλα που θα επωφεληθούν από τη νέα τεχνολογία θα είναι το νέο Ford Focus και Ford Explorer.
Επίσης έβαλε στα εργοστάσια της ρομποτικά μηχανήματα τα οποία ελέγχουν τα αυτοκίνητα στην γραμμή παραγωγής ώστε να έχουνε υψηλότερη ποιότητα κατασκευής, μειόνωντας έτσι τον θόρυβο στο εσωτερικό και βελτιώνοντας την άνεση της καμπίνας.
Ford Adds New Fuel-Saving 1.0-Liter EcoBoost Engine and Eight-Speed Transmission to Powertrain Lineup
Newest EcoBoost™ engine, Ford’s first three-cylinder, to be launched globally in Ford small cars
New engine will deliver performance of a larger four-cylinder with even higher fuel economy
Ford announces first eight-speed automatic transmission for future vehicles
The first Ford-designed, Ford-engineered and Ford-built hybrid transmission begins production late this year; Ford expects to be largest domestic producer of hybrid transmissions by next spring
DEARBORN, Mich., June 2, 2011 – Ford is expanding its industry-leading range of fuel-efficient powertrains in North America with the addition of a new 1.0-liter EcoBoost™ three-cylinder – the smallest engine Ford has ever built – and an all-new eight-speed automatic transmission.
In addition, Ford’s next generation of hybrid vehicles, including a new plug-in hybrid that will launch next year, will have a Ford-engineered transmission that will be built in Michigan.
The arrival of the latest member of the EcoBoost family, Ford’s first eight-speed automatic and its new hybrid transmission will further strengthen the company’s lineup of fuel-efficient vehicles. Today, Ford Motor Company has 12 vehicles that lead their sales segments in fuel economy and four vehicles that deliver at least 40 mpg, a lineup no other automaker can match.
“In the last five years, we have made a record investment in new powertrains and fuel-saving technologies,” said Derrick Kuzak, Ford group vice president of Global Product Development. “Today, we have the freshest powertrain lineup in the industry. And there is plenty more coming.”
1.0-liter EcoBoost: Ford’s smallest engine yet Engineers at Ford’s Dunton Technical Centre in the U.K. began designing the new EcoBoost 1.0-liter engine long before the current spike in fuel prices pushed the cost of a gallon of gas over $4. Their goal: To design a technically advanced, super-efficient three-cylinder engine that delivers the same performance as a four-cylinder, but with much higher fuel economy and lower emissions.
To do that, engineers at Dunton, Ford’s global center of excellence for small-capacity engines, focused on improving thermal efficiency and reducing friction of the engine’s internal moving parts, especially during warm-up. That’s when an engine emits higher levels of CO2 and other pollutants. The new engine introduces many new technologies that could someday be part of the DNA of future Ford engines, said Joe Bakaj, Ford vice president of Global Powertrain Engineering.
The new three-cylinder engine will be available globally in the company’s small cars. It will also play an important role in North America.
“Consumers are telling us they want to buy affordable vehicles that get many more miles per gallon,” said Kuzak. “Our new 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine will give consumers looking for hybrid-like fuel economy a new, more affordable choice.”
Final calibrations of the new EcoBoost 1.0-liter are under way. Kuzak said the new engine will deliver horsepower and torque outputs equivalent to or better than most normally aspirated 1.6-liter gasoline engines.
“The 1.0-liter engine is a little dynamo,” Kuzak said.
Technology powerhouse Bakaj said the new 1.0-liter EcoBoost might be small in size, but it’s big on advanced technology.
The 1.0-liter engine features:
An offset crankshaft that helps improve fuel economy An advanced, Ford-designed split cooling system that allows the cylinder block to warm up before the cylinder head. Faster cylinder block warm-ups save fuel, especially in cold weather An exhaust manifold cast into the cylinder head. The one-piece assembly lowers the temperature of the exhaust gases. This enables the engine to run in a wider rpm band with the optimum fuel-to-air ratio. The new design also saves weight and allows the engine to operate more smoothly EcoBoost technologies, such as turbocharging, direct injection and twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT) “No one’s ever built a three-cylinder engine quite like this. Not only is it one of the most technically advanced and efficient engines we’ve ever designed, but it will introduce a number of new technologies to the Ford engine lineup,” said Bakaj.
For comparison, the newest member of Ford’s global EcoBoost engine family has about the same displacement as a cruiser motorcycle. Ford has never built a regular production car engine with fewer than four cylinders.
“Drivers are going to like the new 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine for many of the same reasons the EcoBoost F-150 is such a big hit,” said Bakaj. “It will deliver great low-speed responsiveness, power, torque and smoothness.”
First seen in the Ford Start concept car that debuted at Beijing in 2010, the engine more recently made its European debut in the Ford B-MAX at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show. More technical and application details for the new 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine will be released in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany.
Ford’s EcoBoost commitment Ford is on track to deliver on its promise in 2006 of offering EcoBoost on 90 percent of its North American lineup by 2013 and to be producing 1.5 million EcoBoost engines globally. The next vehicles to get EcoBoost engines, Edge and Explorer, arrive late this summer.
“With our global family of EcoBoost engines, we’ve replaced V8s with V6s and V6s with four-cylinders – with no loss of performance and with impressive fuel economy improvements,” Kuzak said. “The new 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine will come in at the lower end of the global range and will take the place of a four-cylinder engine, again with no loss of performance or refinement. Above all, drivers win because this new engine is specifically designed and engineered for terrific fuel economy.”
Two new Ford transmissions This year, Ford offers more automatic, manual or dual-clutch automatic six-speed transmissions across its lineup than any other full-line automaker. From the subcompact Fiesta to the industrial-strength F-Series Super Duty pickup, 100 percent of Ford’s lineup of cars, trucks, SUVs and CUVs feature fuel-saving six-speed transmissions.
Like the 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine, advanced technology will be a key feature of the new Ford-designed, Ford-engineered and Ford-built eight-speed automatic currently under development, Bakaj said. “The new gearbox will be the first with a number of advanced new technologies that will provide faster, smoother and more positive shifts,” he said.
The eight-speed transmission will feature:
Ford’s next-generation clutch controls An input torque sensor, which measures torque coming into the transmission. The sensor enables faster selection of the proper gear, reduces hunting and helps smooth out shifts Actuators built into the case for tighter, more precise control of hydraulic pressure Closed-loop control More details on production and applications will be released at a later date.
In-house hybrid transmission Another new Ford transmission, to be installed in hybrid vehicles, starts production late this year at Van Dyke Transmission Plant in suburban Detroit. Full volume production is slated for the first quarter of 2012.
By next spring, Ford expects to be manufacturing more hybrid transmissions in North America than any other automaker or supplier. The new transmission replaces a unit currently made in Japan that is used today in Ford and Lincoln hybrids.
As with the new eight-speed, the new hybrid transmission is Ford-designed, Ford-engineered and Ford-built. It’s an e-CVT or electronic continuously variable transmission. The new hybrid transmission will offer improved performance over the current unit. The current Ford Fusion Hybrid can reach a top speed of 47 mph on electricity and go as far as one mile.
Within the last year, Ford has invested $135 million to design, engineer and manufacture key components for its expanding lineup of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles. The investment not only brings in-house battery and hybrid transmission production, it also has created at least 220 jobs in Michigan.
Ford is on track to launch five electrified vehicles in the U.S. by 2012 and in Europe by 2013.
“It’s absolutely essential for Ford to further develop its core competencies in engineering electrified powertrains,” Kuzak said. “With this new Ford-built hybrid transmission, and assembly of battery packs at our Rawsonville plant, Ford will be positioned well to meet the quality and performance requirements of future electric and hybrid vehicles.”
Ford Drives Quality Through $100 Million Investment in Robots with Special Vision
- Ford plans to invest $100 million globally in robotic plant laser inspection technology to help make parts fit more accurately and reduce wind noise – a top industry quality issue – beginning with the highly acclaimed 2012 Ford Focus and Ford Explorer
- Chicago Assembly Plant, Michigan Assembly Plant and the Saarlouis, Germany Ford plant, all high-volume facilities, will use the technology to deliver more accurate door panel fit
- Laser vision technology is one part of Ford’s overall drive to achieve industry leadership in customer satisfaction
DEARBORN, Mich., June 2, 2011 – Ford Motor Company is investing $100 million globally to install robotic plant laser inspection technology to improve quality through reduced wind noise and more refined fit and finish.
This new technology is being used during assembly of the popular new 2012 Ford Focus at Michigan Assembly Plant and the Saarlouis, Germany, plant, and the hot-selling Ford Explorer at Chicago Assembly Plant. The technology then will be rolled out globally as part of Ford’s next phase of its quality initiative to lead the industry in customer satisfaction.
“Ford’s robotic laser technology gives us a degree of precision like never before,” said Ron Ketelhut, chief engineer, Body Construction Engineering. “The vision technologies verify the dimensions of interfaces on the vehicle’s body in a highly accurate way, to a tenth of a millimeter.”
The technology helps ensure car door panels fit more accurately and reduce wind noise, a key quality factor for consumers and a major industry challenge. The laser and camera systems that are major upgrades to plant robots were developed in collaboration with minority business partner Gonzalez Production Systems, and significantly improve the robustness of the overall manufacturing process.
The technology builds on laser-guided, end-of-line robotic technology pioneered by Ford’s European team to measure points on each vehicle as it moves past the line to verify build quality. The robots are programmed to recognize any minute deviations from the correct specification and, if any errors are found, instruct the operator on the correct course of action. Ford first used the system in Germany and, after seeing quality gains, quickly rolled it out to plants around the world.
Against the wind
The precision technology helps advanced robots more accurately install the doors to reduce the potential for wind noise.
The laser vision technology also is being upgraded on the robots to help confirm the door quality margins once installed. The robots are even empowered to shut down the assembly line if the cameras detect a door does not fit Ford’s exacting quality measurements. Human error is also reduced, as the machines are tuned to measure point specifications on the vehicle, whereas previously it was determined by an operator making a subjective judgment on whether it was accurate.
Wind noise is a primary consumer consideration when judging the quality of a vehicle. Ford has gone to great lengths to minimize noise by pinpointing its source through a number of other plant technologies – using machines to detect air leakage from cabin, NVH (noise, vibration and harshness) chambers and Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM). The new strategy uses the entire range of tools in addition to the vision-guided robot cells and laser inspection to ensure leading vehicle quietness.
A continuing string of upbeat third-party quality reports has Ford pushing its way to the front of the pack. According to the Consumer Reports 2010 Annual Car Reliability Survey, 90 percent of Ford vehicles, including Lincoln models, are Recommended Buys. Ford also has the highest initial quality among all non-premium brands and is ranked No. 5 in the 2010 J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study. Ford’s customer satisfaction score is 82 percent, among the highest, and tied only with Volkswagen and Audi according to the RDA Global Quality Research Study.